A Bible Based Christian Podcast

Following God – A Biblical Sermon For Today

Audiogram/Podcast Previews

    Podcast Transcripts

    Welcome to Coming Home with Julian Awad where we discuss salvation through Jesus Christ, a production of Coming Home Ministries.

    So, last week we were discussing being led by God, and we talked a lot about what that meant, to be directed by Him or to allow Him to be in charge. Also, we covered this area of allowing God to lead us in the big things, as well as in the small things, and to remember that we should ask God to lead us so that we can follow Him daily.

    Today, we’re going to talk a little bit more about following God. And what does it mean to follow God? And what has God said about that? So first let’s pray. Lord, I want to thank you for today. I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk about You and also for the opportunity Lord, to be with You.

    You’ve given us an opportunity each day, as we wake up to make a choice, Lord, to follow You. We can reach out and call to You for help in everything Lord, and You ask us to, but You’ve specifically called us to pick up the cross Lord and to follow You. And our cross, Lord, is something we’re going to talk a little bit about today, and how You are asking us to follow You.

    We thank you, God. And I ask that You will hide me behind the cross so that today everyone that’s listening will hear You and not me, Lord. We thank You again for this opportunity. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    What It Means To Follow God

    So Jesus provided us with a great example of what it means to follow Him. In fact, He not only provided us with a great example, He also commanded us to follow him.

    And here are just a few examples from scripture. If we want to dig in, we can start with Matthew in chapter 16, verse 24. And it says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me for whoever wants to save their life will lose it.

    But whoever loses their life for Me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeits their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the son of man is going to come in His father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done.”

    So Jesus is immediately establishing here that we must learn to deny ourselves when we pick up our cross and we are to follow Him, and follow Him wherever He goes. And we are to understand that that may mean to lose our life as we know it today, but that we will gain life in a different way.

    And of course, I believe the Lord is talking about being born again, for we end up losing what we think is this fleshly, worldly life, and we think that’s all that there is, but we end up gaining so much more.

    Matthew Chapter 10

    In Matthew, chapter 10 verse 38 earlier on, Jesus also , was responding and says that anyone who does not take up His cross and follow Him is not worthy of Him. Further in chapter 10 in Mark, verse 20 there was someone there that came up to him,

    a rich young ruler that came to Him and was trying to find out about eternal life from Jesus. And Jesus went through the moral law, the 10 commandments, and He responded to this young man and said, teacher, I have kept all of these since I was a boy. Jesus looked at him in verse 21. It says that Jesus looked at him and loved him.

    One thing you lack, He said, go sell everything you have and give to the poor and you’ll have treasure in Heaven. Then come follow Me. Remember it says that He looked at him and He loved him. Jesus loved him, and so, because He loved him, He was willing to help this man see what was in His heart, that He loved riches and He loved money more than He loved God.

    And so, with compassion in His heart with love in His heart, He pointed that out to him and He rebuked them, corrected him. He told Him what he needed to do, to get back on the right course. That was to get rid of the thing that is in the way between him and God. And to come and follow Jesus.

    Peter

    It’s interesting that even Peter, in John chapter 21 when Jesus has come back after the crucifixion and after He’s risen again, while they’re all out, one evening fishing and Jesus prepares a meal for them, makes a fire and calls them in.

    They have several discussions and Peter is being confronted by the Lord. Saying, do you love Me? And to feed My sheep? And then finally He says, follow Me. And Peter got distracted. It says that Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, meaning John, following them. Peter was one to kind of question something like that.

    And it says that it was John, the one who at the last supper was the one who leaned back against Jesus at the supper and said to Him, Lord, who’s going to betray You? And when Peter saw that John was following along, he asked Jesus, he says, Lord, what about him? And immediately Jesus answered and says, if I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you?

    You follow Me. In other words, He’s saying, very clearly, don’t lose your focus, keep your eyes upon Me. And so often we end up losing our focus. We take our eyes off Jesus and we allow another person’s walk to distract us. That calling is so clear for us not to take our eyes off of Him. And not to be distracted by someone else’s walk or what they’re doing or what God’s doing with them, but to stay connected with God, to stay and keep your eyes focused a hundred percent on Jesus. That we can follow Him and see, not only what is He saying for us to do specifically, but for us to continue to watch and emulate Him as the Lord reveals Himself to us.

    What We’ve Been Called To As Believers

    In first Peter chapter two, verse 21. Peter is addressing this issue of making sure we understand what we’ve been called to as believers. And He goes in to a wonderful example of what Jesus was like, and that we’ve been called to it. He says for God, called you to do good, even if it means suffering just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow His steps.

    And as he starts quoting Isaiah, he says He never sinned nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when He was insulted, never threatened revenge when He suffered. He left His case in the hands of God who always judged fairly. He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.

    By His wounds, you are healed. Once you were like sheep who wandered away, but now you have turned to your shepherd, the guardian of your souls. I want to draw close examination to the example that we’re being called to follow. In fact, he’s saying follow in His steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

    God’s calling us to flee from sin, and especially to flee from lies and deception. He’s saying He didn’t retaliate when He was insulted and never threatened revenge when He suffered. This is a tough one. He’s calling us to live as lambs and to learn to love even our enemies, allowing God to be the one who carries out vengeance.

    Ooh, that’s tough for me some days.

    And it says also that as we go through these things, that Jesus left His case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. So can’t we, when somebody at work or when your neighbor, or even another believer, mistreats you, or says something that’s not true about you or even attacks you, how hard is it just to release it?

    Know that I can put my case in God’s hands? I mean, it’s really freeing. If you think about it, it really relieves a lot of the pressure to be able to say, I don’t have to defend myself. I can put my case in God’s hands and He’ll judge fairly. He knows what’s right, what’s wrong. He also personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.

    By His wounds, you are healed. We have the opportunity to live and to live in a way that is righteous and holy and it’s because of what Jesus did on the cross. We now have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, empowering us, giving us the ability to overcome sin. And every time that there’s a temptation at every turn at every challenge, we have that ability now.

    And we’re called to live that life. We were once sheep who had wandered away lost, but the shepherd has come. He’s called us, to become the guardian of our souls. He has come to us and brought us together and now is leading the way.

    Following God’s Example

    There’s another great example in Ephesians in chapter five, if you go in there with me and you want to turn it’s chapter five, right at the beginning, He says, “Follow God’s example.

    Therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” What’s interesting here is that we are dearly loved children, and we are called to walk in the same way. It was a sacrificial walk. It was a self-sacrificing walk.

    He was walking for others for the sake of others. Let that be our example. Continues in verse three, “But among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity or of greed because these are improper for God’s holy people.” So first of all, we are holy people and we’re called to be that way and to act that way and to make choices that way to be holy people to be set apart.

    And holy specifically means set apart from sin. Every one of these is going to be difficult in a different way for each one of us, but some of us need to understand what does that mean? Not even a hint of sexual immorality, not in the way that you think, not in the way that you talk. Definitely not in your actions or the way that you encourage others, not in what you joke about or any other kind of impurity or of greed.

    We all struggle with these differently and you have to search your heart out. He continues and says, nor should there be any obscenity, nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Be thankful in all things, thankful in your conversations, thankful to one another, thankful to God. Thankful in even the challenging times, thankful that it’s not worse, thankful for the blessings for the answered prayers, thankful just for life, but there should be no obscenity. Abstain from swear words. Abstain from coarse joking and foolish talk.

    Verse five continues as, “For, of this, you can be sure, no immoral impure or greedy person, such a person is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.” There’s an inheritance coming, people. There’s a judgment that we, as believers, are going to end up having. And there’s an inheritance that we shall receive: a reward. Jesus talked about how the Kingdom of God was like the rich fellow who went away and he left his servants in charge of his own kingdom, his own estate, and he gave each one, a bag of silver. One, he gave one bag of silver. Another, he gave two bags of silver, and another he gave four bags of silver, and he was looking to see what kind of fruit was produced by each one of them.

    And there was a reward afterwards for them based on the fruit that they produced. Such a person is an idolater. It says no immoral impure or greedy person and idolatry is when we are placing something else before God, something else has control of our heart. Something else that we’re worshiping before God, that God is not first in our life.

    And for that person, there’ll be none. No inheritance.

    You can be sure. And finally, He says in verse six, “Let no one deceive you with empty words for, because of such things, God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” When people are coming and saying, listen, it’s not that big of a deal. Hey, we have freedom in Christ, they’re there to mislead you, to somehow take advantage of God’s grace. Those are people that we need to pray for because such things, God’s wrath, comes on those who are disobedient.

    Following God In Daily Life

    This really brought me to a place of seriousness, even in my own life. I think of so many of these areas that I fall short in. And while I know my Lord’s yoke is easy.

    I also know that each day I’m faced with decisions and my decisions have consequences. In Luke chapter 10, verse 27, there was a lawyer answering one of Jesus’s questions who says to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

    Jesus had pointed him back to the law so that he would know how he could have eternal life. And in Matthew chapter 22, Jesus was responding to another person about which of the laws are the greatest. And Jesus replied to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, this is the first and greatest commandment.

    And the second is like it ,love your neighbor as yourself, all the law of the prophets hang on these two commandments. They sound so short, maybe easy to you and all encompassing. But they, for me, really struck my heart, the enormity of what God’s calling us to. In fact, He makes it clear that He is calling us to more, that we are called to a higher purpose.

    We are called to follow the Lord and we’re called to study the scriptures and meditate on them and memorize them and seal them in our heart. We are called to an intimacy with Christ. We’re called to a life of power and glory inside of Jesus Christ. We’re called to a relationship that doesn’t start in the morning and then continue at night. It’s throughout the entire day.

    It’s not just on Sundays. It’s while you’re driving, it’s while you’re getting ready for the day. It’s while you’re on conversations and on the phone. While you’re interacting with others. While you’re resting. It’s while you’re walking. While you’re enjoying life, while you’re outside, while you’re inside, while you’re typing on the computer, while you’re sending emails, while you’re interacting with people online. It’s while you’re watching whatever you’re watching for entertainment, this is the intimacy that God is calling us to a relationship that is more, He is with us, and He wants us to make Him part of our daily life to follow His example.

    So we are called to that life of purity of holiness and righteous living to follow Jesus’ example and to have a self sacrificial life that is not focused on ourselves, but it’s focused on others. One out of obedience, spending time with the Father to listen and say, what would you have me do Lord? In this situation,

    and in that situation, what would you have me do today? Lord, what would you, what person are You going to open up the door for me to serve, to encounter, to share the gospel with?

    You know, you’re called to substitute the things of this world for the things of God like He did with the rich young man, go sell the things that have your heart free yourself of those things that we might have treasure in Heaven. So that you can love God with all of your mind. Consider what you allow your mind to feed on?

    Think about all the things that your brain is thinking about and what you allow your brain to feed on and eat. Do you think that the programs you watch on television or online, or do they glorify God and bring you closer to him or do they glorify the world? Have you thought about other things? What are you reading?

    What are you spending time absorbing? What are you thinking and meditating on daily? Do your words follow Jesus’s example? Do they give life and point to God or do they glorify yourself? How about your body? Are your actions reflecting Jesus? Second Corinthians 2 15 says that we are the aroma of Christ of Christ to God among those who are being saved,

    and among those who are perishing. Are you committing sexual sin? Are you allowing your mind to commit sexual sin? Jesus said, even when you lust, you’re committing adultery, when you lust in your mind. Are you struggling maybe with gluttony, with your eating and your drinking? How about your heart?

    For where your treasure is there your heart will also be. Matthew chapter six, verse 21 verse 22 says the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness? No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Where’s your heart today? Because God is calling you to more. Is there anything in your heart that somehow has become an idol and more important than what God is to you?

    Because God is truly calling you to more. And for those of us who use all of our soul and all of our strength to love God, I believe He is going to reward you. He’s going to reward those who sacrifice and struggle for the depths of God. For those that hear His calling and want to out of obedience to do exactly the challenging things that He’s calling us to do to live separated, to live focused on Him, to pick up our cross, to deny ourselves daily to live that life with our mind, our body, our soul, our strength, everything. Our heart is dedicated to Him and Him alone. I believe that He rewards those who sacrifice and struggle. I believe just like Jacob, who fought for the blessing of God. For those that come and say, I want more from you, Lord.

    God Showing Himself To You

    He’s going to reveal Himself in a deeper way. Those that call out to Him for salvation. He hears, and He rewards those that call out to Him for healing, for God to intervene. We trust God because we know that He not only hears, but He takes action. And for those of you that want to call out tonight, I believe God is waiting for you.

    He has been waiting for you for days. If you’ve never called out to God before, now is the time. He’s waiting for you. He’s waiting for you and to help you so that you can wake up each morning and follow Him. He’s waiting for you just to ask Lord, show me what I should do today. He’s waiting for you to crack open the Bible so that you can dig in and see the examples that He left for you through His word.

    He’s waiting for you during your time of prayer to repent. To get rid of those things that are in the way to ask the Holy Spirit to help you to stay away and not to repeat those same sins that you did before. And to walk in a different light, to walk in holiness, to turn your back on the things that Peter was talking about to turn your back on the sins of this world.

    He’s waiting for you now. I want to encourage you all to make a decision today to follow God. Not partially, not halfway, but to follow Him in everything and make Him first today. I just want you to remember that God is on your side no matter what, if you’ve made Him Lord and Savior, He will cleanse you of any unrighteousness by the blood and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will dwell inside of you and will lead you as long as you let Him. And especially when you call out to follow him.

    The question I have today is do you know that you’re going to go to Heaven and if you haven’t surrendered completely 100% of your life to follow Christ in everything in every way that you do. I want you just to take a moment and remember that you don’t have to fix yourself first.

    You come to Christ and let the great physician be the one that heals you. Be the one that teaches you. Be the one that grows you, that rebukes you, that corrects you, that helps you back onto the path. If you have things that are still in your heart, that, you know, you need to be rid of, if there’s still secret sins that you have, that you want to be free of, or if you have never given your life and surrendered completely, He’s there for you.

    He’s waiting for you. When we look in scripture, it says that no one is righteous, not even one, and that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but God demonstrates His own love for us that while we were still sinners, that He died for us. He wants you just, as you are. Admit that you are sinners.

    Admit that you’re still holding on to secret sins, and that you’re in need of God. You’re in need of a savior and go to Him. And remember, it’s those sins that separate us. They separate us from God. And those wages that we get from sin is death. But the true gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.

    Call On Jesus

    So call on Jesus. Don’t wait, declare with your mouth, that He is Lord, Lord of everything in your life and that you choose to follow Him and no one else. This is for everyone. Anyone who’s listening, there for anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Choose to follow Him in everything in your life.

    Surrender it all. Choose a life of His righteousness, of His holiness, purity, sanctity power, glory. He’s waiting for you today. And if you’ve never followed the Lord, just repeat after me and pray this prayer. God, I know that I’m a sinner and that the wages of sin is death. And I believe that You sent Your son Jesus Christ as a payment for my punishment.

    I declare that Jesus is my Lord. And I profess my faith for salvation through death and resurrection of Jesus. Thank You for Your grace, forgiveness, peace, and the gift of eternal life. Amen. If you prayed that prayer, your next step is to dig into the word of God. Get a physical Bible and download the Bible app on your phone.

    Read it every day without excuse. Look for a Bible focused church to get connected with other believers that will help you grow in the Lord. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

    Fill my heart with your love. Share it with a brother.

    Help you show them. You’re the one beside you. This

    This has been a production of Coming Home Ministries. For more information, or to reach us, go to Coming Home Ministries.net.